The Golden Gate An Opera in Two Acts
Music by Conrad Cummings
Libretto from the novel in verse by Vikram Seth, adapted by the composer
About The Golden Gate
With a libretto adapted from Vikram Seth's best-selling novel in verse The Golden Gate, five twenty-somethings experience love, life, and loss in the magical and innocent San Francisco of the early 1980’s. John, handsome and successful, will discover too late the price of his emotional detachment. He has just met Liz through a personals ad placed by his former college girlfriend Jan, a sculptor and punk rock drummer. Meanwhile, John’s best friend from college Phil, reeling from a divorce which has left him the sole single parent of a six-year-old, begins a passionate relationship with the Ed, Liz’s younger brother. Ed is bright, gorgeous, in search of a lover and mentor, and a profoundly conflicted devout Catholic. Couples come apart; new couples form, families are created, friendships are severed. A tragic death leads John, always the outsider, to the promise of a deeper connection and a warmer life.
Vikram Seth's source novel is composed entirely of 690 rhyming tentrameter sonnets and was inspired by Pushkin's Eugene Onegin.
Conrad Cummings (composer)
Conrad Cummings was born in San Francisco and trained at Yale, SUNY Stony Brook, and Columbia where he received a doctorate. Principal teachers include Bulent Arel, Mario Davidovksy, and Jacob Druckman. He did post-doctoral research at IRCAM in Paris under Pierre Boulez before returning to the U.S. to direct the music and media program at Oberlin Conservatory. Since the early 1990s he has worked as a freelance composer, director, and interactive media producer in New York City. He's particularly proud of the award-winning games for kids he produced at Hyperspace Cowgirls. Since 2003, Cummings has served on the faculty of the Juilliard School where he teaches composition in the Evening Division. Cummings has composed opera, symphonic music, chamber music, and music for his ensemble of amplified instruments and voices. His works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and numerous clubs and alternative performance spaces. Groups performing his music include Brandywine Baroque, Avian Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Louisville, New Jersey, and Indianapolis Symphonies, and the San Francisco Opera Center. Cummings was a 2005-06 member of AOP's Composers & the Voice.
Vikram Seth (text: The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse)
Born in 1952 in Calcutta, India, Vikram Seth was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Stanford University and Nanjing University. He has travelled widely and lived in Britain, California, India and China. His first novel, The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986), describes the experiences of a group of friends living in California. His acclaimed epic of Indian life, A Suitable Boy (1993), won the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book). An Equal Music (1999), is the story of a violinist haunted by the memory of a former lover. Vikram Seth is also the author of a travel book, From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983), an account of a journey through Tibet, China and Nepal that won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and a libretto, Arion and the Dolphin: A Libretto (1994), which was performed at the English National Opera in June 1994, with music by Alec Roth. His poetry includes Mappings (1980), The Humble Administrator's Garden (1985), winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia), and All You Who Sleep Tonight: Poems (1990). His children's book, Beastly Tales from Here and There (1992), consists of ten stories about animals told in verse. Vikram Seth's latest work is Two Lives (2005), a memoir of the marriage of his great uncle and aunt.
January 18, 2010 - MUSICAL AMERICA
Opera review: Workshop of The Golden Gate
January 19 - 20, 2008 South Oxford Space & Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio Piano/Vocal Workshop of ACT I
MUSIC DIRECTION: Steven Osgood
PERFORMANCES BY: Joshua Bouchard, Grant Clarke, Jessica Miller, Daniel Neer, and Caroline Worra
PIANO: Charity Wicks
March 18, 2007 Greenfield Hall, ManhattanSchool of Music
Staged workshop of scenes w/ panel discussion
Presented in association with Opera Index and the ManhattanSchool of Music Department of Opera Studies
Midge Woolsey, panel moderater
September 22-23, 2006
The Great Room (138 South Oxford Space, Brooklyn, NY). Concert reading of Act I, Scene 1
Presented as part of Composers & the Voice: Six Scenes (05-06 season)
MUSIC DIRECTION: Steven Osgood
Conductor: Jennifer Peterson
PERFORMANCES BY: Caroline Worra (Liz), Stephanie Woodling (Jan), Michael Zegarski (John), Matthew Curran (Phil).